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Net below BMR?

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I know that BMR is basically how many calories your body would need to do basic functions if you were to have no activity for the whole day. I know you have to eat at bare minimum that amount. My question is, can you NET below it?

I do martial arts and fitness classes 2x a day Mon - Fri, and I can barely get my total net up to my BMR. I think mine is about 1450 (I'm a 5'5.5" female at about 144 pounds), and every time I take these classes, I supposedly burn around 400 calories each class. So in total, I'd have to eat at LEAST 2200 calories if I wanted to net at my BMR. Personally I don't think I can do that (I like my vegetables too much and honestly I find it difficult to even eat above my BMR if I have a salad for lunch, and that's without exercise.)

I've been stuck at 140 pounds for a very long time, almost a year, with the exception of dropping to 136 pounds for a few months due to anorexia. So does it matter if I net below 1450 as long as I eat up to 1450, or do I have to eat and NOT burn off at least 1450 calories?? And if so, how many should I aim to net if I wanted to lose weight without losing muscle mass? (Not that I have a lot of muscle mass anyway but I punch the weakest in my class, the last thing I need is to get even weaker.)

I don't know if this is a plateau, if I eat too much or too little, but just for reference sake I try to eat 2000 on days I have these classes, and about 1500 on days I don't. If this is bad, somebody please tell me. I'm terrified of my metabolism being ruined again, because once I started eating more, after eating so little, I gained back like ten pounds in just a few months...

If you read all that, thank you so so so much, and I really hope you have an answer. Have a good day x

Replies

  • shadow2soul
    shadow2soul Posts: 7,692 Member
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    Where are you getting the calorie burn from? If your pulling it out of the MFP database, it is probably overestimated and at which case you'd only want to eat 50-75% of them back.

    As for calories, how do determine how many you are eating? Are you guessing based on nutritional label information? Are you using measuring cups? Are you using a scale to weigh food?

    Have your measurements changed? Are you seeing any changes in pictures?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I'm trying to help, but not really sure how to address issues when a person has had an ED. I apologize if any of this is a trigger for ED behavior for you.
  • dbmata
    dbmata Posts: 12,950 Member
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    I know that BMR is basically how many calories your body would need to do basic functions if you were to have no activity for the whole day. I know you have to eat at bare minimum that amount. My question is, can you NET below it?

    What do you think, knowing what you know about the differences between gross and net, as well as how fuel is utilized?
  • yarwell
    yarwell Posts: 10,477 Member
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    I know that BMR is basically how many calories your body would need to do basic functions if you were to have no activity for the whole day. I know you have to eat at bare minimum that amount. My question is, can you NET below it?

    you can eat below it and net below it, taking fat from reserves to make up the calorie difference.
  • kvansanity
    kvansanity Posts: 108 Member
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    You can't change your BMR. You can change your TDEE.
  • erickirb
    erickirb Posts: 12,293 Member
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    I know that BMR is basically how many calories your body would need to do basic functions if you were to have no activity for the whole day. I know you have to eat at bare minimum that amount. My question is, can you NET below it?

    you can eat below it and net below it, taking fat from reserves to make up the calorie difference.
    .

    If you have enough fat, the less fat you have to lose the harder your body will fight to hold on to it and it will break down lean muscle as muscle uses calories so for survival the body would shed as much muscle that you don't need (which is why strength training and protein are needed while in a deficit)
  • xmichaelyx
    xmichaelyx Posts: 883 Member
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    I know it's not a popular statement around here, but I don't subtract the calories I burn working out from the calories I take in. I guess I would if I were a marathon runner or something, but for a 1-hour or 1.5-hour long class? Not worth it.
  • SharpieV
    SharpieV Posts: 26 Member
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    What about eating just a bit more on a daily basis rather than trying to stuff yourself on workout days? A extra bite or two or small snack daily would bring your weekly numbers up to a happy level, hopefully without making you uncomfortable.
  • WalkingAlong
    WalkingAlong Posts: 4,926 Member
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    I know that BMR is basically how many calories your body would need to do basic functions if you were to have no activity for the whole day. I know you have to eat at bare minimum that amount. My question is, can you NET below it?

    you can eat below it and net below it, taking fat from reserves to make up the calorie difference.
    I agree.

    There is a lot of belief here that you need to 'cover' your BMR and exercise with 'today's intake', leaving only the NEAT (non-exercise activity) portion of your TDEE to form your deficit. Which is kind of odd since most here would agree there is no need to 'cover' those daily when doing IF, or no need to cover things based on the clock in other respects (e.g., no need to eat breakfast or eat every X hours to 'fuel your ____'.)
  • I know that BMR is basically how many calories your body would need to do basic functions if you were to have no activity for the whole day. I know you have to eat at bare minimum that amount. My question is, can you NET below it?

    you can eat below it and net below it, taking fat from reserves to make up the calorie difference.
    .

    If you have enough fat, the less fat you have to lose the harder your body will fight to hold on to it and it will break down lean muscle as muscle uses calories so for survival the body would shed as much muscle that you don't need (which is why strength training and protein are needed while in a deficit)

    I take in a lot of protein, I drink shakes and eat a lot of natural sources as well. I'm not sure how much strength training I do though, maybe I should do it more often.
  • I know it's not a popular statement around here, but I don't subtract the calories I burn working out from the calories I take in. I guess I would if I were a marathon runner or something, but for a 1-hour or 1.5-hour long class? Not worth it.

    I guess it's a personal choice, but I mean you could burn a lot of calories in an hour to an hour and a half..
  • What about eating just a bit more on a daily basis rather than trying to stuff yourself on workout days? A extra bite or two or small snack daily would bring your weekly numbers up to a happy level, hopefully without making you uncomfortable.

    That would be a good idea, except the extra bite or two can't make up for all of the classes. Lots of times my net goes down under 1000 after these classes, and can go right down below 500 occasionally. So let's say I ate my comfortable amount (around 1200 to 1400 calories), and my net for any workout day would fall to 1000 or below. By the end of the week, that deficit would add up to 2000 calories, and I typically eat back 50%-75% of my workout calories back, so that means on my rest days (the weekend) I'd have to have an extra 1500 calories, minimum. I'd rather just try harder to eat more over the course of the week, and I think I'm starting to get used to eating this amount, because while it seems like a ton to me, in reality it isn't that much compared to a normal diet. And I don't mean to boast in saying so, because I can't stand people who boast about how long they can fast or how little they can eat, I just mean my general hunger standards are lower, and most of what I eat is really high in protein or fiber so I find it really filling.
  • Where are you getting the calorie burn from? If your pulling it out of the MFP database, it is probably overestimated and at which case you'd only want to eat 50-75% of them back.

    As for calories, how do determine how many you are eating? Are you guessing based on nutritional label information? Are you using measuring cups? Are you using a scale to weigh food?

    Have your measurements changed? Are you seeing any changes in pictures?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I'm trying to help, but not really sure how to address issues when a person has had an ED. I apologize if any of this is a trigger for ED behavior for you.

    I tend to base my calorie burn off of the MFP database, yes, though for one class it says I would burn 486 calories. I usually count one class as 400, mentally, because I don't use MFP to track calories anymore (long story short, it was too time consuming, frustrating and triggered me to eat less. I really hate calorie counting and I've only been at it recently to make sure I'm getting enough.) I've heard other users complain that MFP overestimates their caloric burn so perhaps I have a similar issue.

    I have a food scale, and measuring cups for measuring food, I always read the nutrition label and ingredients list (I don't like artificial ingredients) and I've got a good eye for guessing how many calories are in what foods, and for portion size.

    I'm not sure if I look any different, but my measurements took an odd change. A slight increase in thigh size, yet slight decrease in waist size and arm size. Actually my arm might be the same, I'm not sure.

    I'm doing a lot better now and luckily I wasn't one of the worst cases for an ED. So unless someone were to hint that I eat unhealthily or that I'm fat, I usually won't be triggered. Thank you for your consideration.